Bush 'comfortable' with handling of plane scare
President approves decision not to immediately tell him


The Associated Press

Updated: 1:13 p.m. ET May 31, 2005 WASHINGTON - President Bush said Tuesday he was comfortable with the way an airplane scare was handled in the nation’s capital earlier this month, including the decision not to interrupt his bike ride and immediately notify him about the incident.

No matter that his wife, first lady Laura Bush, has said he should have been told at once by his Secret Service detail. “Here’s the way it is,” he told a news conference in the Rose Garden. “She often disagrees with me.”

A small plane strayed into restricted airspace over Washington on May 11, setting off emergency evacuations of the Capitol, parts of the White House and the Supreme Court. Mrs. Bush was taken to a secure location in the White House complex during the scare

“Obviously, we do have a protocol in place to be able to deal with a situation that can unfold very rapidly,” Bush said at a news conference in his first direct remarks on the incident. “And certainly I was comfortable about the decisions of the people around me up there in Maryland. Anytime a situation like this comes up, people are constantly reviewing the situation. I was very comfortable with the decision they made.”

The White House has defended the decision not to stop Bush on his bike ride in nearby suburban Maryland. He was not informed until he finished his ride, about 50 minutes after the evacuation began.

© 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.